E-votional - Goodbye To My Saint
December 28, 2004

Verse:

ďThere he made his home in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, He will be called a Nazorean.Ē

Luke 2:23(NRSV)

Thought:

A week ago she said happy birthday and goodbye at the same time. It was as if she had it planned all along. I had my plans as well. I was going to make my way up to say hello and goodbye. As it was there was only going to be one who would get there wish, and it was not me. December 19th found Tommie Woodrow Sealock celebrating a different Birthday, a day in which she was born into something knew and marvelous. It was on that day Ma went to be with the Lord. Of all the birthdays I have had, this was, perhaps one that will not be forgotten. A day without any control, a day with both pain and jubilation. One whom I have loved so much was gone, yet she was with The One whom she loved so much and Who loved her, with His Life in fact. As mixed as my feelings were, it was just one more reminder that I was not in control of much.

Hear the Good News, we are not the ones in control, it is God. When will we get it, God is in control. And just like trying to use a paddle to stop a tsunami from the ocean from hitting the beach, trying to stop, control or squelch Godís transformation in the world is a futile. In the passage above we are reminded, just as in life and death that God is in control. Just as Joseph is trying to regain control over his own life, and at a time which is his time alone, sleep. Joseph has three three dreams. The first warns him to leave Israel before the slaughter of the innocents (verse 13). There is a second signaling that it was safe to return to Israel (verse 19). Then finally a third warning him not to return to Judea (verse 22). God knew what was going on and masterfully, he intervenes.

So, let me just make sure we are all clear on something, this is Godís Domain, and since it is we have to realize we canít beat God. To further drive home this point that God is in control, this story of Herod reminds us one more thing. God had been there before o Jesus' adopted father was not the first dreamer named Joseph in the Bible o This Joseph was not even the first Joseph to save His family through a Dream or Egypt. o Herod wasnít the first to take the lives of the first born. Moreover, Herod was not the first or only to be responsible for a life altering and transforming exodus. So, lest we forget, this babe in the manger, who was whisked off is the same Jesus of the Bible who offers forgiveness to murderers, but drives hucksters out of a temple with a whip. He dines with prostitutes, but promises hell-fire for religious hypocrites. He blesses the pure in heart, though never fails to call evil by its name. Wherever he goes, devotion and bitterness seem to follow. So, maybe instead of trying so hard to figure Him out so we can know what we can and canít do, letís concentrate our attention and energy to follow the babe in the manger. He goes his own way - and bids that we follow. He is in control.

Prayer: 

   Gracious God, thank You for being in control. Thank You for the saints in my life and for Tommie Sealock. She made a beautiful difference in not only my world, but in Your world. But most of all, thank You for all You have done and all You continue to do. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Grace & Peace

Rev. David Banks
First United Methodist Church of Onalaska
PO Box 687
Onalaska, TX 77360
(936) 646-5859

 


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